a dog that will not stop barking all night (whether inside or out, though if outside the neighbors will call the police ~10pm)
a cat that occasionally pees on things that are not hir litterbox (for example, your bedspread or the couch)?
Why? (Answers do not need to be in Haiku.)
Here are my kittens on the way to their forever homes! They are all over 2 lbs and fixed now. Individual (-ish) portraits taken for the adoption coordinator:
Kitten #1 on the left:
Kitten #2 in the front:
And kitten #5:
Happy new homes, kittens!
Because everybody cares about my life as much as I do. (Not really!)
After one week at the new daycare, DC2 decided ze loved it. Ze proudly proclaimed that ze had friends and named some. Dropping off only took a little lingering. After two weeks, ze stopped having nightmares. Dropoffs became, “Yeah mom, bye, whatever” (though more in body language than words) and instead of clinging and crying ze complained about getting hugged if my coat was wet from rain. Ze informed us that ze loves hir teachers. Every day when we pick hir up ze says, “I had a good day.” Since starting, hir eczema has also been entirely gone, which makes me suspect that they’re a lot better about making sure that ze doesn’t accidentally eat wheat. Either that or there’s some topical allergen ze isn’t being exposed to in the new place (that just happened to not always be present at the old place).
High quality daycare is amazing and awesome. What a difference! I am a bit worried about next year though… I feel like we haven’t quite been fair with DC2 compared to DC1 who never had to experience a bad schooling experience.
Nice kitty who sometimes pees on cloth:
So far we’ve tried having 4 litterboxes for 2 kittens (6 litterboxes for 3 cats, but the other two are in the utility room instead of the master bathroom the kittens use as home base). One covered litterbox (formerly 2 covered litterboxes), 3 uncovered. 3 with standard litter, 1 with special pine litter. Different depths of litter. Scooped every single night whether they need it or not.
They stay in the master bathroom (~100 sq feet, lots of windows, cupboards, scratching posts, a cat house, etc.) overnight until the late afternoon. This keeps our older kitty from feeling overwhelmed and has allowed us to minimize pee damage. They’re used to it and willingly go back to their home-base at night when it’s time to go. If we let them out earlier they often just stay in the room.
We’ve tried not leaving cloth out, for example, putting our bedsheets away before letting the kittens out.
We’ve tried litter retraining (not letting the kittens out of the master bathroom while we’re out of town for a few days).
All of these have worked to decrease the amount of peeing on things, but none eliminated it.
The most recent thing that we still have our fingers crossed for was Prozac. Nice kitty did not like being pilled at all, and while on Prozac she would hide from us and mostly stay under our bed or in the master bath during their family time. The vet said to try it for two weeks. During those two weeks she didn’t pee on anything (other than the litter, presumably), even though it seemed to make her more anxious rather than less anxious!
After the two weeks, we stopped the Prozac, because nice kitty really hated being pilled, and the vet said it was possible that even after stopping Prozac after the two weeks her peeing on cloth habit might also be gone. So far so good. But we keep waiting to find something peed on.
So those are my updates. Fun times.
We still have 5 indoor cats. No takers for the (3) kittens. We’ve become attached to Garage Cat. On top of that, outdoor Patio Cat has truly become our Patio Cat. He mostly hangs out on our back porch and shelters in our patio when the weather is bad. He loves pettings more than food. He wishes he could come inside. He’s good friends with outdoor Mamacat (who makes the occasional appearance to eat, and is usually on the porch in the wee hours quietly hanging with Patio Cat), but she still shies away from us. He and Garage Cat are still mortal enemies and my hand got majorly scratched up (from Garage Cat) the one time Garage Cat and Patio Cat ended up on the patio at the same time.
The two little black kittens are both super loving and adorable, even the one who used to be mean kitty. It seems like whenever I sit down I get covered in kitten(s), or occasionally by Garage Cat. Boy kitten doesn’t like to be picked up, but is otherwise a sweetheart. He’s almost as big as a full-sized cat, but the girl kittens are still smaller.
Garage cat and the kittens get along really well now. They play together and Garage cat sometimes grooms the younger kitties.
My sister was going to take a kitten or two, but then her roommate got engaged and she’s waiting until she finds a new roommate to commit in case the new roommate is allergic or otherwise doesn’t like cats. Really she should take Garage Cat because he’s so well-behaved and she’s not very experienced with pets, but Garage Cat is long-haired and she’s worried he will get hair on her furniture. We believe this illustrates how she has No Idea about cats or kittens if a little fur is her biggest worry.
My MIL says she’ll take one, but just one, if we get it to her this summer.
One (or more) of the kittens, we’re not sure which one, occasionally pees on our bed. I do not like this. And I worry about said kitten ending up someplace that might not be as forgiving as we are. At some point we’ll figure out which one it is and take it to the vet for a work-up to rule out physical causes. It can’t be lack of litter boxes because we have 7 boxes for 5 cats, all of different shapes, sizes, and privacy, and they get cleaned out every day once or twice a day. And they have no problem using them. Just occasionally one will pee on the bed in addition to regular litter box use.
So that’s the cat update. This time last year we had two middle-aged indoor cats. Now we have 5 indoor cats and 2 outdoor cats. That’s too many. But that’s what we have for now.
Ok, the plan was to catch the kittens and mamacat, get them all fixed, get the kittens tamed and rehomed and if mama was tamed to keep her, otherwise to let her out.
The three kittens are still in our bathroom (they got booted from the guest bedroom suite when partner’s parents visited). Little boy is slowly coming around and one of his sisters may be right behind him. The other sister will probably never be tamed [update: still have hope]. She’s terrified of people. Our bigcat is not helping as she does not like her access to my closet (her daytime napping spot) cut-off and she knows there’s kittens in there and she wants to show them exactly who is alpha kitty around here. She threw herself bodily at the door one night and another night actually managed to get the door open. Partner doesn’t want to put them back in the guest bedroom because it was a PITA to clean. (Recall our bathroom is the only one that’s tiled.)
We caught 3 possums. They are no longer in our neighborhood.
We caught one scraggly (longish-hair) black male cat with lots of scratches on his face. We got him neutered, revolutioned, de-tapewormed, and vaccinated. Initially cautious of people, he turned out to be a cuddle bug. The vet thinks he was once someone’s cat but has been on his own for months. He’s been in our garage. He basically hangs out without destroying anything (unlike the kittens) until someone comes in to pet him. He loves food, but he loves petting more than food. He is a total sweetheart. He is so grateful to be in our garage where it’s safe and relatively warm and there’s food and occasional petting. It breaks your heart. He was not doing well outside so he’s become our #1 priority for rehoming. We may put him in the guest bedroom once we need the garage again, or we may try to integrate him with our other two cats. A lot depends on how he gets along with bigkitty. [Update: I think I’m allergic to him.]
We caught one glossy young healthy-looking male cat. We let him go. We caught him again a few days later and took him to the vet. We got him neutered, revolutioned, de-tapewormed, and vaccinated. He turned out to be completely and totally tame. Vet estimates him at about 1 year. But he was covered in fleas and had a major tape-worm infestation. She says he was certainly someone’s pet once but estimates he’s been on his own for a few months. We let him recover in our patio during the day and in a carrying case in the nursery at night (it’s been getting cold) for two days and nights, but he was pretty unhappy about it and we let him go the morning after that. We just don’t have space for him. And, other than the tapeworms and fleas, he was doing fine outside. He had a small scratch on his nose and we suspect he was the victor in a fight with garage cat. He also may be the reason mamacat no longer has her home-base in our yard. He immediately high-tailed it under our deck where she used to stay. If we catch him again we may try to figure out what to do again.
We caught a bird. We let it go.
We found and called another no-kill shelter. She’s also full-up. The humane society does have a program where they’ll take really nice cats and no-kill shelter them for a while (and take them to Petsmart on adoption day and stuff), so we’re signing up garage cat for that. Maybe. They need a picture and by the time his face scratches heal and partner gets all the matting out of his fur (he’s almost done there), we may have decided to keep him. Or we can drive him up to partner’s mom over Spring Break.
Still no idea what to do with the kittens. Poor things. It would be easier if they were tame. Or if we’d caught mamacat way back when. Now I worry about kicking them back outside unprotected where there’s fleas and tapeworms and big territorial black kitties. But that may be what we end up doing.
Update: boy kitten really likes pettings.
Update: little girl kitten #1 really likes pettings
Update: WE CAUGHT MAMACAT. She had hookworms. :( She’s currently in our garage. Vet says she’s really skittish. We put garage cat in our guest bedroom. After two nights in the garage she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink and hadn’t used the litterbox. The only sign of her existence was a trickle of pee coming from someplace inside our car that we didn’t think she could get to. So the vet said to open a side-door to the garage and hope she makes her escape. So we did. Hopefully she’ll be out of there before we have to use the car again in a few days. (Note: Honda civic hybrids are not good cars to leave in the garage with a cat. Stick to a simpler car.) Hopefully we’ll see her in the backyard so we know she’s out without having to take the car apart. Update [Tuesday night]: After another day of no eating and finding her wedged but breathing under the engine, I opened the other garage door. That night, she seemed to lave left the garage and eaten all the food in there. I think we saw her tonight just after dusk eating on the porch (after Patio Cat had his fill, talked amicably to our Bigkitty safe in the screened patio, and left). It was dark, but so far I haven’t seen any other small cats in our backyard and her form in a brief flashlight flash looked tabby…
We did a lot of things wrong. We should have set up feeding routines and used the kittens to catch mamacat and a dozen other things. This website has some really great suggestions. But, I suppose, if we’d done this correctly we wouldn’t have rescued garage-kitty or neutered patio-cat.
So that’s the story so far. The kittens have come a long way and I think the next step is getting them used to DH or DC1. Then maybe we advertise. I don’t know. It’s hard to know what to do.